Hack Your Health with Dr. Nat

Episode #9 – The Power Trio: Low Carb, Ketones, & Intermittent Fasting With Dr. Heather Cardin

Tune In To Learn:

  • Benefits of a Low-Carb Diet: Unpack the components of a low-carb diet, understand its role in significantly reducing blood sugar levels and inflammation, and learn how it complements intermittent fasting to accelerate fat loss.
  • The Role and Benefits of Ketones: Learn about ketones, powerful energy molecules for the brain and body, examine their neuroprotective and stress-reducing effects, and get practical tips for boosting your body’s ketone production through diet.
  • Understanding Intermittent Fasting: Discover the fundamentals of intermittent fasting, delve into its popular methods such as the 16/8 or 5:2 protocols, and uncover its benefits for metabolic health and potential to extend lifespan.

Key Takeaways And Show Notes:

In this informative episode of “Hack Your Health with Dr. Nat,” host Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp welcomes special guest Dr. Heather Cardin. As a chiropractor with 25 years of experience and a passion for functional medicine and nutrition, Dr. Cardin brings a unique perspective to the conversation as they explore the powerful combination of low-carb eating, ketones, and intermittent fasting.

Throughout the episode, Dr. Cardin shares her insights on how these strategies can support weight loss, reduce inflammation, and optimize hormonal health. She draws upon her extensive experience in the field to provide practical tips and actionable advice for those looking to improve their overall well-being.

Understanding the Role of Carbohydrates in Inflammation and Disease

Dr. Cardin emphasized that, unlike essential fatty acids and amino acids, there are no essential carbohydrates. She explained that certain carbohydrates, particularly refined grains and sugars, can contribute to inflammation, which is a leading cause of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune conditions. However, she noted that a low-carb diet focused on nutrient-dense, whole-food sources of carbohydrates can help manage inflammation and support overall health.

To optimize your carbohydrate intake, consider the following:

  • Focus on nutrient density: Prioritize low-carb, nutrient-dense options like leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, and other cruciferous vegetables.
  • Be mindful of starchy vegetables: While sweet potatoes and other starchy vegetables can be part of a healthy diet, they are higher in carbohydrates. Consider limiting their intake, especially if you are following a low-carb approach.
  • Limit refined grains and sugars: Minimize your consumption of processed grains and added sugars, as these can contribute to inflammation and blood sugar imbalances.
  • Incorporate healthy fats and proteins: To support satiety and blood sugar control, include sources of healthy fats (like avocados, nuts, and seeds) and quality proteins (such as eggs, fish, and lean meats) in your meals.

The Importance of Blood Sugar Control

Dr. Cardin and Dr. Beauchamp highlighted the crucial role of blood sugar control in maintaining overall health. They emphasized the significance of choosing low glycemic carbohydrates and strategically timing their consumption to promote stable blood sugar levels throughout the day.

Dr. Cardin explained that when people learn to listen to their bodies and understand when to eat carbohydrates, they can experience notable health improvements within a remarkably short period, often just a matter of days.

To effectively manage your blood sugar levels, consider implementing the following strategies:

  • Regular bloodwork: Ensure you are staying current with regular bloodwork to keep track of key metrics like fasting glucose, and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c). These tests help assess overall glucose metabolism.
  • Opt for low glycemic carbohydrates: Prioritize non-starchy vegetables, legumes, and whole grains that have a slower and more gradual effect on blood sugar levels, promoting greater stability and reducing the risk of sudden spikes or crashes.
  • Strategically time your carbohydrate intake: Experiment with consuming carbohydrates around periods of physical activity, such as before or after exercise, to optimize blood sugar control and maximize the body’s utilization of these nutrients for energy production.

Implementing Intermittent Fasting for Health 

The doctors go on to discuss the remarkable potential of intermittent fasting when approached correctly and under the guidance of a medical professional. They highlight the wide-ranging benefits of this practice, including improved blood sugar control, reduced inflammation, and enhanced brain health.

They recommend starting with the 16:8 method, which involves fasting for 16 hours and condensing your eating window to an 8-hour period. This approach allows the body to enter a fasted state and can help optimize various metabolic processes.

To safely and effectively incorporate intermittent fasting into your lifestyle, consider the following tips:

  • Gradually adjust your fasting window: Begin with a more manageable 12-hour fasting period and progressively increase it to 16 hours as your body adapts and you become more comfortable with the practice.
  • Prioritize hydration: During fasting periods, it’s crucial to ensure adequate fluid intake. Focus on consuming water, herbal teas, and other non-caloric beverages to maintain proper hydration and support overall well-being.
  • Special considerations for women: Women may need to approach intermittent fasting differently due to hormonal fluctuations and unique physiological needs. Dr. Cardin emphasizes the importance of working closely with a healthcare professional to tailor the fasting approach to individual needs, particularly for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or dealing with hormonal imbalances.
  • Maximize nutrition during your eating window: When breaking your fast, aim to consume nutrient-dense, whole foods that provide a balance of essential macronutrients and micronutrients. This approach will help sustain your energy levels, promote satiety, and support your body’s overall health and function.

Harnessing the Power of Ketones

Dr. Cardin explained that ketones, produced when the body burns fat for fuel, offer neuroprotective benefits, support brain health, and help reduce inflammation. Ketones can be induced through fasting, a ketogenic diet, or exogenous ketone supplements. Working closely with a knowledgeable practitioner is crucial to determine the appropriate approach based on individual needs and health status.

If you’re interested in exploring the potential benefits of ketones, consider the following options:

  • Incorporate medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs): MCTs are a type of fat that is rapidly converted into ketones by the liver. Adding MCT oil or MCT-rich foods like coconut oil to your diet can help boost ketone production and provide a quick source of energy for the brain and body.
  • Experiment with exogenous ketone supplements: Exogenous ketones are supplemental forms of ketones that can be consumed to raise blood ketone levels. These supplements may be particularly useful for individuals who have difficulty achieving or maintaining nutritional ketosis through diet alone.
  • Consider a cyclical ketogenic diet: This approach involves alternating between periods of higher carbohydrate intake and periods of strict ketogenic eating. By strategically cycling in and out of ketosis, you may be able to experience the benefits of ketones while minimizing potential drawbacks associated with long-term carbohydrate restriction.
  • Monitor ketone levels: Regularly measuring blood, breath, or urine ketone levels can provide valuable insights into your body’s state of ketosis and help you optimize your approach for maximum therapeutic benefit.

A Step-by-Step Approach to Lowering Carb Intake

The episode emphasized the importance of a personalized approach when implementing a low-carb lifestyle. Dr. Cardin recommended taking a step-by-step approach based on an individual’s readiness for change. She highlighted that even small, consistent changes can lead to significant results over a 3-6 month period.

The show concluded with the message that by leveraging the power trio of low-carb eating, ketones, and intermittent fasting under the guidance of a knowledgeable practitioner, individuals can achieve substantial improvements in weight management, inflammation reduction, hormonal balance, and overall disease risk reduction.

Whether you’re new to these concepts or looking to deepen your understanding, this episode offers valuable information and inspiration to help you take charge of your health and achieve your goals.

For more information on Dr. Heather Cardin’s work, please visit:https://cardinwellness.com/




TVEpisode #9 – The Power Trio: Low Carb, Ketones, & Intermittent Fasting